How COVID-19 is Affecting Sponsored Children in Delhi, India; A Q&A With Jim Dé

An interview with Jim Dé, director of our partner Shishu Sangopan Griha (SSG) in Delhi, India. Jim shares how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting Holt-sponsored children and their families in Delhi,  and how sponsors and donors are helping to meet their most urgent needs — especially now, during the country’s deadly second wave

Masked to prevent the spread of COVID, a local team member meets with sponsored children and families in Delhi.
Masked to prevent the spread of COVID, a local team member meets with sponsored children and families in Delhi.

How is the pandemic currently affecting Holt-sponsored children and families in Delhi?

We saw a huge surge between the month of April and July/August 2020 and then we saw a huge tapering down of the situation and people were getting back to work. So I think the first couple of months in 2020 at least to the middle of the year was pretty difficult for lots of families. And then by Aug/Sept, we saw people getting back to work.

However, the sad thing is that in 2021, it’s back to a bigger bang than in 2020. We are seeing a huge surge in the number of cases and it seems like every second house is affected with COVID. This is an extremely precarious situation right now. …

When [India’s recent lockdown] started off, the people did not realize that it was going to last over a month. Since the last two weeks, it has been painful because it’s back to no income and bare survival. Thanks to support from Holt sponsors and donors, we have been able to reach out to all the families and help them with financial aid to overcome this situation. Continue reading “How COVID-19 is Affecting Sponsored Children in Delhi, India; A Q&A With Jim Dé”

How Sponsorship Helped Devi Avoid Early Marriage

Holt CEO Phil Littleton shares a letter he recently wrote to Holt’s child sponsors. 

Devi (top left) avoided early marriage with the help of sponsors
Devi (top left) with her mom and her younger siblings.

I recently came across a heartbreaking statistic.

According to UNICEF, “Over the next decade, up to 10 million more girls will be at risk of becoming child brides as a result of the pandemic.”

 

I read this in a story we recently shared about the rise in child marriage in India due to COVID-19, and how sponsors like you help to protect girls at risk. I hope you get a chance to read this story about the powerful difference you make as a sponsor. Continue reading “How Sponsorship Helped Devi Avoid Early Marriage”

How Does Your Money Get To Your Sponsored Child?

Why we don’t give your $39 monthly sponsorship donation directly to your sponsored child’s family or caregivers, and how Holt uses your money to help your sponsored child instead.

A mom and her son in Colombia. Sponsorship helps this boy attend a daycare program where he receives a critical early education.
A mom and her son in Colombia. Sponsorship helps this boy attend a daycare program where he receives nourishing meals and a critical early education.

Every month, you faithfully send your $39 to your sponsored child … Sort of.

Technically, you send your gift to Holt International, trusting that we will properly steward your money and direct it to your sponsored child. While we do on occasion give cash directly to families to meet immediate identified needs, we don’t actually give your sponsored child and his or her family $39 in cash or check each month.

Why, you ask? Wouldn’t our sponsorship program be just as effective if we simply wrote a check each month?

 

Well, that’s a great question, and it is one that our sponsorship team often hears. Continue reading “How Does Your Money Get To Your Sponsored Child?”

The Child Brides of COVID-19

In India, and in developing countries around the world, the COVID-19 crisis has significantly increased the risk of child marriage. But one key factor continues to make a dramatic difference in the lives of vulnerable girls and young women: child sponsorship.

For representative purposes only. To protect her identity, we are not sharing any photos of the girl featured in this story.

 Rani* was just 17. She did not want to get married. She argued and pleaded with her mom. She asked her social worker to convince her mom to delay her marriage. Rani knew her mom was struggling to support her and her two little sisters. If she got married, it would ease the burden on her family.

But she knew what she could look forward to. Continue reading “The Child Brides of COVID-19”

9 Dos and Don’ts About Writing Letters to Your Sponsored Child

The question our sponsorship staff encounters most frequently is, “Can I write my sponsored child?”

We think this is a fantastic question! It shows that you take your sponsorship seriously — often sending positive thoughts or prayers to your sponsored child, and wondering how he or she is doing. Your desire to connect with your sponsored child is one that warms our hearts — and your sponsored child’s, too!

Generally, the answer is yes, you can write your sponsored child. But, there are a few stipulations, mostly designed to ensure your sponsored child and his or her family remain safe and successful in our programs.

Here, we’ve created a “9 dos and don’ts” list regarding correspondence with your sponsored child. Continue reading “9 Dos and Don’ts About Writing Letters to Your Sponsored Child”

Food in a Time of Crisis

When all seemed lost, Holt donors provided the food families in India needed to survive. 

Several months ago, terrible rains fell in southern India. Entire villages flooded, and thousands of children and families were suddenly in crisis. But perhaps some of the most affected were the migrant families… 

In southern India, Holt donors help support families that have recently migrated from their villages in the countryside to the big city of Bengaluru in the south. Many of these families don’t even have their basic needs met while they look for work in the city, and try to build a new life. 

But when the floods came, everything got even worse. They didn’t have much to begin with, but now they had nothing. 

More than anything, these children and families needed food to get through the first days of the crisis. 

And right when they needed it, Holt donors stepped up to help — providing emergency food to 250 families in greatest need. 

 

You helped send warm lentil curry, vegetables and hard-boiled eggs especially for the children — vital protein to fill their bellies and help keep them from getting sick. 

Thank you for helping families in their time of greatest need. When all seems dark, your generosity is a warm light. 

A $75 gift of Crisis Response Food and Water will give children and families lifesaving essentials when they need it most. 

COVID-19’s Global Impact on Children: Mental Health

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented amount of stress and anxiety — especially among children and families in Holt programs around the world. Learn how Holt’s on-the-ground team in Pune, India is helping to address this mental health crisis and protect the overall wellbeing of sponsored kids and families. 

When India imposed a nationwide lockdown early in the pandemic, families across the country went into crisis. But nowhere more so than in the impoverished slum communities where Holt-sponsored children and families live. Under strict quarantine measures, they could not leave their homes for work or school or even to go to the grocery store. They had no income, minimal savings, and very quickly ran out of food. Some had a limited supply of lifesaving medications. Some went days without anything to eat. Continue reading “COVID-19’s Global Impact on Children: Mental Health”

How COVID-19 is Affecting Sponsored Kids in Pune, India: A Q&A With BSSK

An interview with Vaishali Vahikar, sponsorship director, and Nandini Sundaramurthy, executive director at Bharatiya Samaj Seva Kendra (BSSK), Holt’s partner in Pune, India.

Mothers of children in sponsorship stand by bags of emergency food provided by sponsors and donors during the pandemic.
Mothers of children in sponsorship stand by bags of emergency food provided by sponsors and donors during the pandemic.

How is the pandemic affecting children and families in Holt sponsorship?

Vaishali: The children didn’t know why all these restrictions were being put on them. We had to start with telling them how corona spreads and how one should take precautions like putting on masks, washing their hands, sanitizing. If you’re out of house, you have to sanitize again when you come inside. So our initial work was more on educating the families regarding all the precautions one should take to prevent from getting infection. Continue reading “How COVID-19 is Affecting Sponsored Kids in Pune, India: A Q&A With BSSK”